Our November Artist of the Month is Poet and Author Geoff Munsterman, a young talent from Greater New Orleans who has just published a fantastic book of poetry entitled Because the Stars Shine Through It. A sample poem, According to the Drunken Elders of my Past, is included below and the entire book can be purchased on Amazon here.
by Julie Kane, Louisiana Poet Laureate (2011-2013)
Geoff Munsterman hails from Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and attended Belle Chasse High School, The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts | Riverfront, & Kenyon College. His poems have been featured in story|south, Poets for Living Waters, Steel Toe Review, The Raging Pelican, Poetry Quarterly, and Volume IV of The Southern Poetry Anthology. He splits his time between New Orleans and Geismar, Louisiana.
Forget the moonlight and magnolias: in this young Southerner’s poems, densely textured and drunk with language, men work punishing jobs along the violent Mississippi River and the “petroleum-ruined Gulf” until they drown or their hearts burst. Fishermen dredge up body parts; the young “escape” to Iraq and come back in caskets or with “space-age limbs.” Belle Chasse, Louisiana, has produced the bard who will sing its bridges, tunnel, oil refineries, graves, and orange groves into myth and history.
According to the Drunken Elders of my Past
When you like a girl you tuck your shirt in.
Buy beer cheap as possible.
When the flood came you slept like a baby
in our skiff & the moon was a rabid dog
eating raindrops from your face.
A paddle works in most fights.
A shirt lasts past getting full of holes.
Before swimming at night, take a flashlight
& shine the water for alligators.
Your stomach knots before you recognize
their eyes—little fires
like the levees during Christmastime.
The earth yields what you put back into it. Lists work.
Blackberries ferment into decent wine.
Beer & fish belong in separate ice chests,
but if your bait works better than you thought
try to keep the slime from where you drink.
A good motor leaks a little oil.
A good boat sinks close to shore.
After we die, you’re on your own.